I spent my childhood years in a small apartment with no garden, on a busy, noisy street close to the train station. But my bedroom overlooked a neighbour’s tiny walled garden, with its persimmon tree, miniature lawn, and narrow flower beds, and I cherished the view, with its glimpse of nature and seasonal changes.
Lucky for me, one of my grandmothers lived in the country, in a small hamlet surrounded by fields, trees, narrow gravel paths, and hedges.
She had a small vegetable patch, kept hens, and used to take me for leisurely strolls in the fields, looking for wild edible leaves, violets growing at the edge of the road, blackberries, and pine nuts.
We visited every weekend, and often during the summer I got to spend a few blissful weeks with her, free to roam the area with my bicycle, read under a tree, or just lie on the grass and look at cloud shapes.
Those times in the country were heaven, and my introverted, highly sensitive nature thrived on the slow rhythm of life, and the beautiful views and gentle sounds.
Maybe that’s where my love for nature and the seasons comes from, and why I find the seasonal cycle enchanting.
When our ancestors lived from the fruit of the land, they were more attuned to natural cycles. They relied on the observation of nature for farming, and celebrated the major turning points of the year – spring, summer, autumn, winter – with festivals and rituals.
In ancient times, all across Europe, people celebrated the four seasons, regardless of religious beliefs.
The Celtic Wheel of the Year actually had eight festivities in total, and four more turning points of the seasonal cycle, each between an equinox and a solstice – Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain.
These days, celebrating the seasons is not so common anymore. Modern life is faster and faster, and paying attention to the subtle changes that nature goes through during the year is no longer a priority.
But I find the cyclical quality of the seasons, and of the natural world, fascinating, comforting, and inspiring.
The cycle of birth, death, and rebirth is a reminder that nothing stays the same. Knowing that all is impermanent, constantly changing, makes the low points of life somehow more bearable, and the highs even more precious.
The observation of nature invites me to slow down, and notice and enjoy every single moment, every little sliver of beauty that comes my way.
Nature reminds me to be grateful for my highs, and graceful with my lows. It doesn’t always happen, of course, but the more I practice noticing, the more it becomes familiar, a healthy habit that generates contentment.
The same cycle of birth, death, and rebirth applies to creativity too, which ebbs and flows.
Every phase of the creative cycle is necessary – from the seed of an idea slowly incubating, then growing into a fully formed project, until the time comes to let it go, prepare the ground for another seed, and get ready for the cycle to begin again.
In the same way, our personal energy is cyclical too. There’s the obvious cycle of birth, childhood, maturity, old age, and, eventually, moving on.
But personal energy has peaks and troughs during the seasons too, the months, the weeks, and even during the day.
I’ve come to realise that when I notice, accept, and honour these cycles, my life somehow flows more easily, and my creative energy too.
In fact, for some time I’ve been using the seasons as a source of inspiration and as a guiding system for my life and creativity.
It’s a journey, a way of being, and creating, that follows the pace of nature.
With Creating with the Seasons I’m inviting you to share this journey with me, and with other creative souls who want to live their life at a slower pace, and let the seasonal cycles inspire them.
I’m inviting you to notice, connect, create, and celebrate.
Creating with the Seasons is a celebration of slow living – the desire to notice and embrace what is, without the need to wish time away and rush to the next thing.
This course is an invitation to slow down, and embrace your perfectly imperfect life, with its cycles of ups and downs, ebb and flow, light and shadow.
Instead of living in the future, I invite you to observe the present moment with curiosity, an open heart, and a sense of wonder, appreciation, and gratitude for the ordinary, for the beauty and small miracles that surround you.
During the year I’ll send you reflections and prompts to gently guide your attention towards the way the natural landscape changes through the seasons, and observe the sky, the trees, flowers, and shrubs…birds, insects, creatures small and large…the light, the weather…the colours, textures, scents, sounds, and tastes.
We’ll pay attention to nature’s energy, and ours too, to notice how the mood changes without, in the outer landscape, and within us.
Connection is at the heart of Creating with the Seasons. I’m inviting you to connect with nature, the Earth, and the seasons.
With your soul, your heart, and your creative voice.
With the work that wants to be created, the creative energy that wants to flow through you.
I’m inviting you to clear the noise, slow down, be still…be present, and listen, with no judgement, an open heart, and an open mind.
I’m also inviting you to connect with fellow creatives at heart level, and be part of a community of beautiful souls who share their work and process, and support and inspire each other.
In fact, the desire to create a supporting community, a circle of creative women, played a big part in my decision to run this class.
The creative process is something that happens in solitude, but when we share our creations with the world, they take on a deeper meaning, an added layer.
When we connect with like-minded people, sharing not just our creations but also our experience – the process, inspiration, and struggles we go through, we create a network of support, and feel less alone.
And because everything we are, and do, is energy, when we follow the same guiding system and take the time to mark and celebrate some pivotal times of the year, we create a collective energy that reinforces our intention.
It becomes easier to slow down, notice, connect, create, and celebrate, because we’re all adding to this collective energy.
And that’s when magical things happen.
Creativity is my companion, my saviour, my sustenance, and the seasons are my greatest source of inspiration.
I love creating images using flowers and other botanical items, but I also use my camera to capture views and details of the changing landscapes.
Each photograph I create comes from the desire to slow down, seek and record beauty, and celebrate the little things of every day life.
Creating with the Seasons is an invitation to cultivate creativity, and let the seasons be a source of inspiration for you too.
Every month I’ll share images of the seasons seen through my camera lens, and my thoughts and reflections about my experience of each season’s energy.
I’ll gently nudge your creativity with journaling and photography prompts, quotes, and reflections, to help you notice and capture all the seasonal changes in your part of the world.
During the year I’ll invite you to create images, collages, moodboards, and journal entries to chronicle the seasons through your eyes.
There’s no pressure to complete anything though, just an invitation to look at the world with eyes full of wonder, to nourish your creativity, and express yourself.
All prompts are simply suggestions, and you are free to create as much or as little as you like.
This is a year-long class, not a race. It’s a slow-paced journey through the cycles – of the seasons, of creativity, and of our personal energy.
We’re here to create, of course, but also to honour our perfectly imperfect life, with its highs and lows.
Some prompts might resonate, some might not.
One month you might be bursting with inspiration, another month…not so much.
That’s absolutely fine.
Creativity ebbs and flows, and we all go through phases. We’ll share our experience, inspire, and support each other in our private group, until our creative well is filled up again.
We all do many little things connected to the seasons. We light candles, hang wreaths, cook special dishes, spring-clean the house…all rituals that we perform without even noticing, and that immediately connect us with a particular season.
Every time I sit down to write, or to create something, I light a candle and some incense on my altar – which is just a collection of items that have meaning to me, arranged on the top shelf of my writing desk.
These two actions are a ritual, a cue to my Self, and to the creative energy, that I’m ready to listen. It’s a simple ritual to honour the process of creating, and its spiritual nature.
Rituals are anchors that help us connect to a particular energy. In the same way, altars are visual anchors.
At every seasonal celebration, I make little changes to my altar – a posy of flowers, a leaf, a pebble, a bit of moss, an acorn, a picture of a landscape, a crystal…
There’s no religious aspect to my altar and rituals, they’re only simple ways to celebrate each season and connect with its energy, and also to appreciate and be grateful for every part of the cycle.
Like our ancestors marked the year with festivals and celebrations, I’m inviting you to celebrate the turning point of the seasonal cycle, with simple rituals and altars, to connect with the energy of the seasons, and appreciate their gifts.
If you want to connect with the seasons, with like-minded people, and with your unique creative voice, this class is for you.
Slow down, let nature be a source of inspiration, and create from the heart.
Join me if you’d like a slow paced class with gentle prompts and guidelines to help you:
– images (natural landscapes, close ups, found and created still lives, interiors, and self-portraits)
– collages and moodboards
– seasonal displays
– a journal with thoughts and reflections
Class starts 16th March 2020, in time to celebrate the Spring Equinox and kickstart our creative year, and ends 31st January 2021.
During the coming months we’ll let the seasons be a source of inspiration, and guiding system for our creativity.
From the energy of Spring and new beginnings, through the peak of Summer growth, then on to the abundance of Autumn, until we reach the Winter solstice, and the time to hibernate, and retreat into our cocoon, into our soul, to replenish our inner well.
At the beginning of the course we’ll start with setting an intention for this course, and think of how we want the seasonal year to feel, and what we want to accomplish, and create, during the coming months. Then we’ll prepare for the upcoming spring equinox, to tune in to the energy of spring.
From then on, each month I’ll share thoughts, reflections, and prompts to inspire and gently nudge your creativity.
For each season, you’ll be invited to create images, collages, moodboards, and a “book of the seasons” made of images, words, and botanical snippets – a journal with your chronicle of the seasonal year’s highlights.
All content will be in a password protected website. You’ll receive emails with a link to the current month’s content, and the password to access it.
You’ll also receive a reminder e-mail before each seasonal festival (Spring equinox, Beltane, Summer solstice, Lammas, Autumn equinox, Samhain, Winter solstice), and each time I upload more content to our dedicated website.
We’ll grow our community in a private FB group, where we can connect, share our thoughts and reflections, ask questions, grow, and support each other. I’ll moderate the group, and you can contact me there, or send me an email if you prefer.
We’ll also have a dedicated hashtag to share our images on Instagram.
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I’m not in France. Can I still join in?
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, then yes, absolutely! This an online class so you don’t need to live in France :)
The fee is in Euros but when you pay it will be converted into your own currency.
I live in the Southern Hemisphere. Can I still join in?
I’m really sorry, but all the class content is based on the seasons as they occur in the Northern Hemisphere.
Seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are the opposite – spring is autumn, summer solstice is winter, and so on, so the class wouldn’t make sense to all those living on the other side of the world.
The course fees are in Euros. Can I pay in Dollars/Pounds/etc?
Yes, you can pay in any currency you like. When you check in using your credit card or PayPal, your currency will be automatically converted. Visit this online currency converter for an estimate of the fee in your own currency.
How can I connect with you and with others taking the course?
We’ll have a private Facebook group, where you can connect with me and with others taking this class. We’ll have a dedicated Instagram hashtag, to see each other’s photos and connect there too (the hashtag gallery will be visible to everyone though).
Joining the Facebook group is optional, but I encourage you to join so that you can connect with all of us creating with the seasons, and we can build a supportive community together :)
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